As he parked his Mercedes Benz inside the gate of his mansion, or his father’s mansion as he deemed more accurate, Tanuj had only one thought in his mind.
“I have to escape this meeting somehow. I am tired of explaining to Dad that this isn’t what I want to do.”
Spending the whole day trying to understand the details of his father’s textile business was never Tanuj’s cup of tea. It wasn’t that he was really passionate about something else – he never really dreamed of being a musician or a writer, although he was ‘pretty decent’ in every area that one could name, according to his childhood friend Hitesh.
Hitesh – the most enviable person in Tanuj’s life. Not that he had many people in his life, except his parents, his elder sister Sonali who they married off to the son of an equally rich business partner, and a few friends from college who went their own ways and didn’t keep so much in touch with him. But Hitesh had been always there – his best friend, his ray of hope penetrating the dungeons of affluence that he so badly wanted to run away from. Hitesh was a photographer – not of a specific kind really. He would shoot anything that caught his fancy – an exotic bird, a very common bird, random people on the streets, the blue sky and the red one at dusk, a curious child, and sometimes even aspiring models who looked for economical portfolio offers, whom he would often date. But Tanuj didn’t envy Hitesh because of his girlfriends or even because his photographs would often pop up in magazines with beautiful captions, but because he felt Hitesh had his family on his side.
Hitesh had expressed his desire to take up photography at a very early age,and his parents had supported him throughout, bearing expenses for his courses and never asking him to take interest in the family business. They weren’t half as rich as Tanuj’s family, but their happiness seemed to sprout from the fact that they had let their son pursue his dreams without hesitation. For Tanuj, having a definite goal in life was still far away. Growing up, he always knew he had to be a part of his father’s business empire whether he liked it or not, and he never really gave much thought to other things in life that could help him find his interests. But now he knew what a big mistake that was. Now he was ready to do whatever it takes to find peace outside the monotony of paperwork, money matters and undesired meetings with clients almost everyday.
As Tanuj was about to get out of his parked car, he paused for half a minute, closed the door and started off again. It was not until he drove for ten minutes and turned around the corner to reach a five-storey apartment building that he stopped. He climbed up the stairs to the second floor and rang the doorbell for the first apartment on the right.
“Hey bro! What brings you here?” Hitesh greeted his friend with a swift hug. “Come in. Let me introduce you to Megha.”
Tanuj saw a tall and pretty girl sitting on the couch. Definitely a model, he thought. But he was in no mood to get introduced to Hitesh’s new girlfriend. He wanted to sit and talk to his best friend in private. He waved a reluctant hello to Megha. Hitesh gave him a smile and went over to whisper something in Megha’s ear. She got up immediately, gestured a “call me” and left, throwing a sweet smile at Tanuj.
“How do you do that man? How can you ask a girl to leave and she does that with a smile?” Tanuj was surprised for the umpteenth time.
“Anything for you dude,” said Hitesh. “So gather your words and prepare yourself, and I will make you some coffee till then.”
“No Hitesh I don’t want coffee,” Tanuj already knew what to say. “Neither do I need any preparation. Just tell me how do I run away from home.”
(To be continued…)